﻿ Eunoia : Stu Savory's Blog - November 2023
Eunoia
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Eunoia, who is a grumpy, overeducated, facetious, multilingual naturalised German, blatantly opinionated, old (1944-vintage), amateur cryptologist, computer consultant, atheist, flying instructor, bulldog-lover, Porsche-driver, textbook-writer and blogger living in the foothills south of the northern German plains. Not too shy to reveal his true name or even whereabouts, he blogs his opinions, and humour and rants irregularly. Stubbornly he clings to his beliefs, e.g. that Faith does not give answers, it only prevents you doing any goddamn questioning. You are as atheist as he is. When you understand why you don't believe in all the other gods, you will know why he does not believe in yours.

Oh, and after the death of his old bulldog, Kosmo, he also has a new bulldog, Clara, since September 2018 :-)

Some of my bikes

My Crypto Pages

Sunday, November 26

Sets of equidistant points

Back when you were in school you most probably had a geometry kit, consisting of compasses, protractor, ruler, etc. Unless your name was Euclid, in which case it was only compasses and a straightedge. Teacher had you use the compasses, open them some distance R=radius, then twirl them 360° to draw a circle on a plane sheet of paper. Then a good teacher would have pointed out that the circumference of this circle was the set of ALL the points at the same distance R from the middle of the circle. A set of equidistant points in 2 dimensions.

My teacher, Jeb, then had us draw an arbitrary straight line across the circle diameter somewhere, pointing out that this line intersected the circle at two points which were a set of ALL the points at the same distance R from the middle of the circle. A set of 2 equidistant points in 1 dimension, on a line. One left, one right.

Moving up to 3 dimensions, a sphere, he pointed out that the shadow of the 3D sphere on a 2D plane is a circle. The surface of the sphere (a globe) was the set of ALL the points at the same distance R from the middle of the globe. A set of equidistant points in 3 dimensions.

Defining a shadow as the projection of an N dimensional object onto a N-1 dimensional object he pointed out that the shadow of a glome (a 4 dimensional hypersphere) is a 3D sphere (a globe) and the glome is a set of equidistant points in 4 dimensions. And so on and so forth except that the higher hyperspheres beyond a glome do not have each their own individual names.

This long-winded but minimal lead-in is to introduce you to the YouTube videos made by @tibees, an australian mathematician. She explains the idea of four spatial dimensions (not curled up) very well indeed, understandable by the layperson too. I recommend you go watch them and even have your schoolkids watch them too :-)

Once you have watched her short 4D videos, you will understand the movie "Interstellar" MUCH better :-)

@tibees has made several other longer videos too in which she investigates the theses of other famous physicists, Tesla, Hawking, Einstein, Cox etc so that we don't have to read them ourselves. All very well explained; I am a fan, as you may have gathered ;-)

Monday, November 20

Fat books

E d (USA) saw that I was reading the biography of Wernher von Braun and wrote "That's a fat book, what other books do you have that are fatter?"

My first thought was Musashi, in the german translation because I cannot read japanese, which has 1181 pages. Btw, Musashi was the first samurai to fight with two swords, one in each hand. But then I walked along our bookshelves and saw the collected works of Lewis Caroll which has 1130 pages so is slightly smaller despite being physically slightly wider. Even wider is the Nibelungenlied because it is printed on vellum not paper, but it only has 426 pages. Then there is Gödel,Escher,Bach which has 844 pages in the german version. I also have it in english, which has just 776 pages for comparison. Winner is the autobiography of Henry Kissenger with 1626 pages. I have a signed copy :-)

Best of these is Gödel,Escher,Bach in english, where the section on the ricercar (like a fugue) , when read out loud, IS a ricercar!!!

Billions of Versions... wrote " If a magazine article is more than two pages I probably won't make it to the end." Then I am grateful you read my blog articles all the way through to the end, Mike :-)
Jenny asks "So what (fat?) book are you reading today?" The new Asterix comic book (#1 on the german fiction hit list this week) , all 40 pages, took 12 minutes.
Chacko Jacob wrote "A fat book I read through from start to finish was Herman Wouk's The Winds of War. Then I did the same for War and Remembrance. I read 'The Winds of War', over 1100 pages in paperback, and the sequel was 'War and Remembrance', also over 1000 pages long. Had a great description of the battle of Midway, where the American torpedo planes pressed home a suicidal attack on the Japanese carriers and were decimated. However, the Japanese Combat Air Patrol came down to join in the fun of downing the slow torpedo planes, and when the American dive bombers arrived late (by pure chance), they were able to sink four Japanese carriers, changing the balance of naval power in the Pacific forever." Never read anything of his; thanks for the tip.

Wednesday, November 15

Saved by the bell

A couple of centuries ago, people were really scared of being buried alive with no means of rescue. There were a couple of solutions to this. The most popular solution was a hole in the coffin lid through which a cord led to a bell nailed to the wooden cross marking the grave. If someone was really buried alive the idea was that they could pull on the cord thus causing the bell to ring to get attention that their body might be dug up again.

The least popular solution was the introduction of cremation ;-)

The most popular solution was the origin of the idiom "saved by the bell" (which had nothing to do with boxing) but, I was surprised to learn, not of the idiom "dead ringer".

The disadvantage was if there was no-one in the cemetary when the "dead" person woke up and rang the bell, then nobody heard the alarm bell. So, later, when the telephone was invented, an undertaker came up with the idea of subscriber direct dialing (naturally only to HIS phone) so he would be the hero doing the rescue, getting publicity to amplify his business even further. So remember to thank this undertaker for inventing subscriber direct dialing instead of having to go through a switchboard girl every time you make a call ;-)

Jenny (Ibiza) joked "If the pretty girl from the switchboard initiated the rescue in the graveyard, would the idiom be 'Saved by the belle' ?" GROAN!
Billions of Versions... wrote "You go Jenny! HA!" It was an awful pun!
Morag (UK) asks "So who is spreading the 'dead ringer' myth then?" People whose opinions I otherwise trust, e.g. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, I'm sad to say.

Sunday, November 5

Guy Fawkes Night

Today in the UK there will be bonfires and fireworks galore as the Brits celebrate Guy Fawkes night.

At the beginning of the seventeenth century Britain still had religious warring factions. There was a protestant king on the throne, James I, but traitorous catholics were trying to kill him and put their own queen on the throne.

The Gunpowder Plot was a failed assassination attempt against King James I by a group of English Catholics led by Robert Catesby. The plan was to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament on 5 November 1605. The conspirators included Robert Catesby, John and Christopher Wright, Robert and Thomas Wintour, Thomas Percy, Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes, Thomas Bates, John Grant, Ambrose Rookwood, Sir Everard Digby, and Francis Tresham. See contempory sketch below.

Guy Fawkes (3rd from right), who had 10 years of military experience fighting in the Spanish Netherlands, was given charge of the explosives. However, due to concerns over collateral damage, an anonymous letter of warning was sent to William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, on 26 October 1605. Fawkes was discovered guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder during a search of the House of Lords on 4 November 1605.

Most of the conspirators fled from London as they learned that the plot had been discovered. Several made a last stand against the pursuing Sheriff of Worcester and his men at Holbeche House. In the ensuing gunfight (muskets), Catesby was one of those shot and killed. At their trial on 27 January 1606, eight of the surviving conspirators, including Fawkes, were convicted and sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered.

Fawkes did a jump when being hanged, thus breaking his neck, killing himself to avoid the pain of being drawn and quartered.

The Gunpowder Plot was commemorated for years by special sermons and other public acts, such as the ringing of church bells. It added to an increasingly full calendar of Protestant celebrations that contributed to the national and religious life of 17th-century England, and has evolved into the Bonfire Night of today. UK children still sing the rhyme "Remember, remember the 5th of November, Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot." I suspect US kids do not sing "Remember, remember the 6th of January, Maga Treason, and Plot." not only just because it does not rhyme ;-)

Friday, November 3

Robo-Diner

Driving home on the autobahn last week, I felt tired, so we all decided to stop off for a coffee. I knew there was a diner at the next junction, with attractive young waitresses, think like a local Hooters.

How wrong could I be?

The place is now set up like a classic american diner and it is even called The Road House. It now has far fewer wait staff, most of them now robots. Not at all humanoid, think rolling cupboards with 4 tray-sized shelves stacked vertically. On top, a loudspeaker and a single camera-eye pointing upwards.

A human waiter assigned us to a clean table and took our orders, keying in the menu-numbers into a mobile device which relayed them to the kitchen, together with our table number. Shortly afterwards, a robot rolled up on its way to our table, the camera reading the table-number from a spot-code on the ceiling above us, and bringing our drinks. The loudspeaker asked us to take our drinks from the top tray. I don`t know what it would have done if we had not complied.

Meanwhile the kitchen made our orders and (another) robot brought the four trays to our table. The loudspeaker asked us to take our orders from the tray stack, one person's order per tray, the robot assumed we could remember what we had ordered ;-) So the robot only brings the orders to the ordering table but cannot put the trays on the table, let alone in the correct place. The robot then asked us to pay the (human) cashier on our way out, telling her when we were finished.

When we had finished, a (minimum-wage) human came and emptied the table and wiped it down.

An interesting experience, so I googled the robot-maker to learn more when we got home. They assume the floor is flat with no steps (shades of the Daleks!). The spots on the (flat) ceiling for navigation are to avoid customers obscuring QR codes on the tables. This was the entry-level system. You can get add-ons which can clear and wipe the tables. I assume a later version will be able to take orders like Siri can. We didn't change our orders or add desserts later (which would have involved calling our order-taker again) but a microphone at the table and Siri-order-taking could cope with this, I assume. I assume a human is needed to cope with any spillages.

This system assumes cooperative customers; I don't know what happens if you get a gang of teenagers deliberately trying to mess up the system.

So the bean-counters save on the (minimum wage) waitresses. The robots cost €12,000 to €16,000 each depending on the service options the bean-counters order. But profit is turnover minus costs. Maybe there will be less income with fewer customers, due to there being no more attractive waitresses? We shall see.

Coincidentally, Doug sent me a joke about an AI- robot bartender :-

Billions of Versions... wrote " 'I don`t know what it would have done if we had not complied.' ; I laughed when I read that line!" If I were a customer for the guys selling those robots, that would be one of the scenarios I would ask about.

Link to the previous month's blog.
Recent Writings
Sets of equidistant points
Fat Books
Saved by the bell
Guy Fawkes Night
Robo-Diner
Rocket Man
Banging the patient :-(
Bulldog Piggy Bank
Dining in Born
Bodden lagoon tour
Fishermen's Church
Holiday House
Friends in high places
Not Nine Eleven
Falling down in Germany
Donkey Kong and I
Flight of Death
Seeing Saturn
Do photons exist?
Being Bemphites

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